NPA explains why it declined to prosecute in Anele Tembe's death

AKA released a song in honour of the late Anele Tembe.
AKA released a song in honour of the late Anele Tembe.
Image: AKA/ Instagram

Questions about progress in the case of Anele “Nelli” Tembe's death have surfaced after the murder of rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes at the weekend.

AKA was gunned down outside a popular restaurant in Durban on Friday evening, a fatal shooting that also resulted in the death of his lifelong friend, Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane.

Tembe, his former girlfriend, died from injuries sustained during a fall from the 10th floor at the Pepper Club Hotel in Loop Street, Cape Town, in April 2021.

Eric Ntabazalila, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson in the Western Cape, set out the events since her death in response to recent queries.

The NPA's decision was that there should be an inquest into Tembe's death, after expert opinions pointed to no grounds for a prosecution. 

“Following her death, the South African Police Service registered an inquest docket, whereafter extensive investigation was conducted to determine whether her death was caused by any criminal conduct on the part of any person.

“The matter was referred to the NPA, who in turn returned the matter to the South African Police Service for further investigation.

“Advocate Nicolette Bell, the director of public prosecutions (DPP) in the Western Cape, considered the merits of the matter, as well as various reports presented to her by her staff,” Ntabazalila said.

In the months that followed, the DPP was advised that Tembe's family wished to make representations regarding her decision to the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP).

As a result, the inquest regarding the death of Tembe was delayed pending representations to the NDPP, he said.

Subsequently, an application for access to the docket was served on the NPA in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) after an initial request to have access to the docket was denied.

“At the time of Kiernan Forbes' death, the PAIA application was pending and the attorneys appearing for Tembe’s family had not lodged their representations to the NDPP.”


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